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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Canon Photographer John Stanmeyer wins World Press Photo of the Year 2013

I am back from my whale photo shoot in Maui. Now comes the hard work of getting back to the daily routine and processing the photos. Visit my website to see the latest pics as I post them shortly.

The international jury of the 57th annual World Press Photo Contest has selected a picture by Canon photographer John Stanmeyer, of the VII Photo agency, as the overall World Press Photo of the Year 2013.

The following is an excerpt from Canon Professional Network describing the award :

The picture shows a group of impoverished African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighbouring Somalia – a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East. The picture also won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category of the 2014 World Press Photo Contest, and was shot for National Geographic.

The Chair of the 2014 World Press Photo Contest jury Gary Knight, a founder photographer at VII Photo agency, said of the winning image: “This image is so hopeful.” Although the photograph was originally part of a larger story that was not shortlisted in the contest, it remained in the minds of the jury, as Knight explained: “This image always stood out… in the context of that story. Every jury that I have ever been on here [at World Press Photo] has always sought to find something a little bit different but something that nevertheless addresses a really, really critical issue.”

Gary Knight added: “This is my fourth time on a jury and I don’t think I’ve been in a room where the jury has ever been so certain that a photograph should be the World Press Photo of the Year. It is a moment of hope borne from despair – an expression of people trying to find a new life for themselves and trying to connect with other people elsewhere in the world.”
Of the winning image Jillian Edelstein, a jury member from the UK/South Africa, said: 
“It’s a photo that is connected to so many other stories – it opens up discussions about technology, globalisation, migration, poverty, desperation, alienation, humanity. It’s a very sophisticated, powerfully nuanced image. It is so subtly done, so poetic, yet instilled with meaning, conveying issues of great gravity and concern in the world today.”

David Guttenfelder, a jury member from the USA, commented:
“The photo is like a message in a bottle, it is one that will last for all of us. People will bring their own life experiences to it as they stand in front of it.”

Other notable Canon photographers who won prizes in the 2014 World Press Photo Contest included Canon Ambassador Brent Stirton (Reportage by Getty Images) who won first prize in the Staged Portraits Singles category for his image of blind albino boys in India, whilst Canon Explorer Marcus Varesvuo took second prize in the Nature Singles category for his image of a flock of guillemots in a snowstorm in Norway.

Wildlife photographer Steve Winter (National Geographic) took first place in the Nature Stories category for his story on cougars in Wyoming, USA; photojournalist Sara Lewkowicz (Reportage by Getty Images) won the Contemporary Issues Stories category for her documentation of domestic violence in the US for Time, and Goran Tomasevic (Reuters) took first prize in the Spot News Stories category for his coverage of rebels attacking a government checkpoint in Damascus, Syria.
The jury gave prizes in nine themed categories to 53 photographers of 25 nationalities from: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

The members of the jury announced the winners at a press conference held at the World Press Photo offices in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 14 February 2014.

The judging was conducted at the World Press Photo offices in Amsterdam. All entries were presented anonymously to the jury, who discussed their merits over a two-week period. The jury operates independently and a secretary without voting rights safeguards the fairness of the procedure. The contest drew entries from professional press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers across the world. By the mid-January deadline a total of 98,671 images had been submitted by 5,754 photographers from 132 countries.

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